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Ask Doc Handsome: How Do I Pick A Barber & How Should I Talk To Them

Visit Grooming Lounge Barbershops and you’re guaranteed to get a great haircut. That said, we’re aware there’s a big world beyond the Beltway, and such being the case, wanted to provide all men with the info necessary to get a great service in their specific area. Before you pick a barber, read these tips on how to choose who makes “the cut.”


  • Go To A Male Stop: While a guy can certainly get a fine cut and style at a unisex salon, the best possible results are usually obtained by visiting a men’s only destination. The barbers/stylists at such establishments definitely have a broader range of knowledge on male-specific styles, issues, options, lifestyles and more – and – the quality will be more consistent amongst different barbers/stylists.
  • Use Your Words: Personal recommendations and word of mouth are a great way to pick a barber and find a superior shop. If there’s a friend, or even an acquaintance, with a great cut, ask them where they got it. That “friend” will certainly appreciate the compliment and it’ll lead to a solid recommendation for you.
  • Availability Isn’t Key: Although it may be more convenient for scheduling, the shop with the most openings isn’t usually the best choice. A shop with lots of barbers/stylists standing around is that way for a reason.
  • Demand Some Style: It’s not a total deal-breaker, but finding a barber/stylist with a great personal style is essential. Just like they say “never trust a skinny cook,” you should never trust a messy or disheveled barber/stylist.


  • Hire A Consultant: A hallmark of a shop that gives a truly great haircut is the depth of the consultation. If the client is on the exact same page as the barber/stylist in terms of the desired look, the results will show it. Men should provide as much detail as possible, and bring in a picture, although it might seem odd or obsessive, really helps the barber/stylist (it’s not frowned upon). Present a celebrity with the same hair density and texture desired — and a stellar service is within reach.
  • Be Realistic: Don’t be offended if your barber/stylist tells you they can’t pull off the cut you want and recommends an alternative. He/she is doing the client a favor as some hair textures or head shapes just don’t jibe with certain styles.
  • Accentuate the Negatives: A barber/stylist can learn a ton when the client talks about the reasons they “didn’t” enjoy their previous haircut. It provides a guideline of things to avoid and pays real dividends in the outcome.


  • Think Ahead: A well-done haircut will always grow in better and last longer. A lower-quality haircut will lose its luster after about 2-3 weeks, but a well-constructed cut, with natural looking edges that complement the shape of the face, will look good for a solid month or even longer. So, although a higher-end cut might cost more up front, the long-term might see some real savings.
  • Hop On The Train-ing: For the most part, more expensive cuts will be done by barbers/stylists with lots of experience, great training backgrounds and those who participate in ongoing education. The benefits of such are more than “cookie-cutter” styles and instead, cuts that are appropriate for ones face shape, hair texture and lifestyle needs.
  • Avoid Rush-Hour: Often one pays more for the amount of time a barber/stylist spends with them. Shops that operate as “conveyor belts” and get folks out in 20 minutes are often less focused on quality and more focused on numbers. A good haircut needs the reverse. When you pick a barber look for one that can create a great look without rushing.

If you happen to live locally, Doc Handsome isn’t too humble to recommend visiting the Grooming Lounge’s Barbershops either in DC or Virginia.

If you have any other tips or have a recommendation for a great Barbershop in your area, please let us know.  Thanks.

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Brooks Michael

  • Max
    August 30, 2017

    I’ve never really had a great experience with a haircut, so being able to have some tips on getting a good barbershop would be helpful for me. I’m glad that you talked about being able to go to a men’s only destination. I think that going to a barbershop that focuses only on providing men with quality haircuts would give me a much better chance at getting one I’m proud of! Thank you!

  • Ashley Turns
    August 31, 2017

    My father’s barber just retired so he has begun to look for a new shop to use. I like your suggestion that you look for a stylist that has actual style. I’m sure my father wants to find a shop that has barbers that obviously employs barbers who have a similar style to my father.

  • Ernest London
    September 20, 2017

    I like that you mentioned to pay attention to the style of a barber. It makes sense that you would want to hire somebody to cut your hair has good taste and personal style, because it will inform their work as well. I am trying to find a barber in my new town, and I want to make sure I choose the best. I will keep these tips in mind as I search, thanks!

  • Donna
    September 25, 2017

    You do give some good advice but I don’t agree on all. I am a barber for over 20 yrs and stylist for 35. I have worked in low end shops and high end. I am a women and cut dam good. I never let anyone out of my chair unless I am happy with my work. I will give my customer the best , if it be a $5 cut of $50. You might want to consider that guys may need a women’s touch, since we do like to look at them. I always ask them what kind of haircut they are looking for and tell them if it can be done with their hair or not. Then I tell them if its a good fight or not and give my advice. I always tell them about different product good or bad.

    I go to work in T-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. My hair sometimes up or down. So you are telling me because I don’t wear dress shirt,pants and shoes I don’t cut good?
    I do mostly blade work and straight edge shaves, face ,head and necks. I also do scissor comb(which most cant do). I can do a great high & tight, blend or flat top in 15-20mins. I am in NJ and have had people come from Virginia, Florida , NY and PA for haircuts.

    So as you can see I am a little offended by the remark about MEN SHOPS.

    • Staff Writer
      September 25, 2017

      Point taken Donna. Thanks for your insight and feedback. Sounds like you have a terrific business. Keep it rolling.

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